New coach Luis Enrique wants unpredictable Spain in Nations League

The former Barcelona boss takes charge for the first time in Spain's Nations League opener away to England on Saturday after crashing out at the last 16 of the World Cup to hosts Russia.

Published: 08th September 2018 01:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2018 01:33 PM   |  A+A-

In this file photo dated Thursday, July 19, 2018, Spanish coach Luis Enrique talks to journalists during his official presentation as Spain new head coach in Las Rozas, outskirts of Madrid. | AP

By AFP

LONDON: New Spain coach Luis Enrique wants his side to evolve from the style that brought La Roja great success in the past decade before growing stale in recent years.

The former Barcelona boss takes charge for the first time in Spain's Nations League opener away to England on Saturday after crashing out at the last 16 of the World Cup to hosts Russia.

Spain won three major tournaments in a row at Euro 2008 and 2012 either side of a maiden World Cup win in 2010. But they also bowed out at the group stages of the 2014 World Cup and last 16 of Euro 2016.

Spain enjoyed 75 percent possession against Russia in July, but failed to break down the hosts over 120 minutes other than a Sergei Ignashevich own goal.

"The fact we have been a reference over the past decade means that everyone knows our national team," said Luis Enrique.

"I have already spoken about evolving the model in my presentation and that is what we are working on. I am convinced that is what we will do.

"Afterwards, we will see if we are effective or not, but the objective is to evolve and stop being predictable."

Spain's miserable tournament in Russia failed to recover from the firing of coach Julen Lopetegui just days before the World Cup began for agreeing to take over at Real Madrid this season behind the Spanish federation's back.

That decision was reportedly opposed by many of the senior players in the Spain squad, including captain Sergio Ramos.

However, Madrid skipper Ramos insists his first impressions of a former rival in Luis Enrique have been positive.

"Despite the speculation there could have been, I have always got on well with the people I have found with most character," said Ramos.

"Above anything else, we have the same objective which is to lead this team to the top."

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